During the past four years, assertions that the U.S. is devolving into a “banana republic” have become almost commonplace.

“Bananas” is also a term used to describe people or behaviors that range from bizarre to insane. Bananas thus describes our everyday political reality in the Time of Trump.

There was the plot to kidnap Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The FBI described the plan as a months-long effort that also saw members of a rightwing militia “consider forgoing the kidnapping and instead executing Whitmer on her doorstep.”

According to the affidavit, plotters twice surveilled the governor’s vacation home and discussed blowing up a bridge leading to the house and using a boat to flee with the captured Whitmer.

The plot continued to gather pace into October, before the FBI arrested Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta in a series of raids on Wednesday night.

“When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard,” Whitmer said on Thursday. “But I’ll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this.”

In addition to the militia primarily responsible–the “Wolverine Watchmen”–there was evidently a connection to the “boogaloo boys” movement, which is mostly dedicated to eradicating the government and killing law enforcement officers. (Boys will be boys!)

There has been steady growth of these groups of rightwing, anti-government, racist lunatics over the past twelve years. Hysteria over the election of a Black President apparently gave them impetus, and the subsequent election of a psychological fellow-traveler has been seen as permission and encouragement.

More bananas: Trump has always been unhinged, but evidently a combination of impending electoral loss and steroids has magnified his psychoses. As David Von Drehle recently wrote at the Washington Post

President Trump on drugs. Wow. I have to admit that I failed to see this one coming. Trump’s political career has been such a wild ride all by itself, it never occurred to me to wonder what would happen if this grandiose narcissist with the bombastic flair were to be filled to the gills with a powerful steroid. Just as I never looked at Usain Bolt, the great Jamaican sprinter, and mused: What would he be like on a rocket sled?…

Even after the president returned to the White House from the hospital, his docs continued to pump in dexamethasone, a steroid normally given to covid-19 patients struggling for life on a ventilator. Its purpose is to tamp down an overly intense immune reaction known as a cytokine storm but, in this case, it may be ramping up the chaos known as Donald Trump.

And talk about chaos! As Heather Cox Richardson described Trump’s recent behavior,

The major, obvious, in-your-face story of the day is that the president is melting down. He has spent much of the last two days calling in to the Fox News Channel and Rush Limbaugh’s radio show and ranting in a manic way that suggests he is having trouble with the steroids he is taking for his illness.

In an interview with Rush Limbaugh today, Trump boasted that “our nuclear is all tippy top now,” and said about Iran, “If you f*** around with us, if you do something bad to us, we’re gonna do things to you that have never been done before.” He tweeted that “Obama, Biden, Crooked Hillary and many others got caught in a Treasonous Act of Spying and Government Overthrow, a Criminal Act. How is Biden now allowed to run for President?” This is pure fiction, of course, but his campaign later put it in a fundraising email.

Trump’s doctors have yet to clear him for interactions with people, but that hasn’t stopped the narcissist-in-chief; he invited 2000 people for a rally on the South Lawn of the White House. (That, as Richardson points out, is yet another violation of the Hatch Act–but in an administration as corrupt as this one, that’s barely worth a footnote.)

Von Drehle cites the Mayo Clinic for an enumeration of side effects of the drug the President is receiving: “agitation,” “anxiety,” “irritability,” “mood changes,” “nervousness” and — perhaps most apt — “trouble thinking.” 

What happens when you give a drug with those side effects to a man who already exhibits those behaviors–and whose level of intellectual development is best displayed by his description of America’s nuclear capability as “tippy top”? 

Friday, my husband and I made another trip to the City-County Building to cast early in-person votes. At 8:15 in the morning, the line was once again incredibly long–and as it moved (briskly, I’m pleased to report), it was steadily replenished. When we drove by yesterday,  the line was nearly twice as long.

I am cautiously optimistic that sane Americans have developed an allergy to bananas.


  1. The early voting lines have been impressive in my small city, but I am unable to feel cautiously optimistic about the majority of those voters being allergic to bananas.

  2. Many trump supporters believe God put trump into office, lets hope and pray God shows them he wasn’t ready to end our little experiment in representative democracy. Recent reports of younger evangelical types rejecting the very un-pro-life nonsense flowing from this administration is a hopeful sign.

  3. Please. They’re not militias. They’re just armed gangs. The US Marshall Service cleaned them out of Indiana in the 1850’s and they can do it again.

    Get outside and enjoy the Fall weather and colors!

  4. It isn’t the number of militia/boogaloo boys/racist members of our society that has me worried. It’s the large percentage of Republicans who remain silent as the country descends into a fascist banana republic.

  5. We may be in for a real show when they start to wean 45 from those steroids they’ve got him on.

  6. The psychopath in the Oval Office won’t leave no matter what the election results say. He will have to be dragged out. Bill Maher has said it for 4 years. We on this blog have hinted at it for just as long. The steroids are just making what he’s always been exponentially worse.

    The first line in the Hypocratic Oath is to do no harm. Hmmm. Why would administering experimental, mood altering drugs to an already unhinged psychopath not qualify as violating that oath?

    Short of the orange hairball launching our nuclear missiles at everybody (Would cooler heads in the military disobey those orders?), we’ve only seen the start of the worst of human behaviors as encouraged by the wretch 62 million Americans voted for and who STILL has the slavish adoration of 35% – 45% of likely voters.

    Maybe it’s not just Trump or the dickless wonders toting guns that are the idiots.

  7. Peggy; you are so right. I remember my brief (approximately 9 weeks) but frightening experience with steroids, especially while being weaned off. Trump is the perfect Poster Child for NOT releasing to the public the treatment he has been given.

    If the White House doctor report is true that Trump is no longer infectious after barely over a week since his PUBLIC diagnosis; when did his Covid infection actually begin?

    Theresa’s entire comment states the crux of conditions nationally and begs the questions; exactly when did his symptoms first appear and when were his Republicans aware of his condition, who was informed, or were any of them aware of what was going on inside the White House. Mitch McConnell himself stated he has not been there since August 6th due to the lack of precautions against the virus by family, administration and staff. Inside OUR White House now appears to be a microcosm of a Banana Republic; or due to the unknown number of those infected, is it one of Trump’s shit hole countries in and of itself?

  8. I don’t know about a banana republic, but we are an oligarchy and kakistocracy. I’ve been reading the minimal reporting on the Assange trial (if it can even be called that), and Americans should be embarrassed. We talk about holding Trump accountable for his more derelict actions as POTUS but compared to GWB, how can we even point a finger?

    On an international stage, we ignore international law that we claim to insist on others ascribing to so the world has “law and order.” And where is the Fourth Estate during this mockery of our press freedom? Talk about a lack of accountability. Without the free press holding the powerful in government accountable, our government might get the idea it can spy on ALL of us with the help of the tech companies we pay user fees to.

    Is it any wonder that a juvenile silver-spooned reality TV star abuses the executive office in this country. We were a joke before, but we have a big stick and a strong economy.

    Biden may be more likable than Trump, but he will not restore us to an exceptional country. We are not a beacon of anything except military spending and our devotion to giving the impression we are much better than we are through national propaganda. What is our annual spending on public relations?

    We are suffering from decades of propaganda wars on the American people and international citizens. We need a solid and intentional “TRUTH Campaign.”

    We can slap lipstick on this pig after November’s election, but we still gotta pig!

  9. The banana republic has had in some sense a bit of a comic look to it. A strutting, bloviating leader dressed in an elaborate quasi-military garb. We watched the performance from a far.

    What we failed to see was what it took to keep that man in power a para-military police force and a compromised judicial system that has as it’s purpose to keep the leader and his cronies in power.

    Our own American oligarchy was happy to pull the strings to maintain their power and wealth, while we proles battled among each other for crumbs that fell off the table. How else do you explain Mega-Corporations and people like The Trumpet who pay no federal income tax or very little???

    The Trumpet has in a real sense exposed the attitude of the uber wealthy. He has demonstrated a callous and profound indifference to the American people by his actions concerning Corona. The Trumpet’s guiding light principle has been the accumulation of wealth for himself, the 1% and the Mega-Corporations. Remember those tax cuts.

    Thus, it made perfect sense to the Trumpet to ignore or down play Corona in order to maintain “Business As Usual”. The stock market was his barometer for America’s well being, not the 200,000 plus deaths from Corona.

  10. Militia groups are domestic terrorists. Remember that Timothy McVey was a member of a similar group from Michigan before McVey blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. We know who these anarchist are & thank goodness the FBI is tracking their movements. It seems to me the biggest difference is that now we have a president who they identify as their leader. POTUSA calls them into action, or to “stand by,” or to police polling places. No amount of make-up can hide 45’s true colors. He is a wannabe dictator like a Mussolini or, yes, Hitler. This is the reality of T-rumpland. The 45th POTUSA calling on his AG to charge and arrest his political opponents hyped up on drugs hunkered down Twitting his little heart out. Lord help us.

  11. Clearly a mocumentary is in ordering starring Sasha Baron Cohen in orange make up and a booby Kardashian as the First Stripper.

    I wish our adventure with a real life dictator wannabe would end with comedic flair. Sadly we aren’t even being successful as a banana republic. Democrats will be forced again to play their usual role in repairing Republican damage but so much more than we have been forced to fix in the past. For the few months that he had a helpful Congress Obama could focus on economic recovery that Republicans describe as the slowest in history but Democrats point out was the longest lasting in history. Same ol’, same ol’.

    Trump’s ending will not be pretty. In the near future we will look to today fondly as the good old days. What we have to focus on as Trump goes up in flames is fixing, restoring what Trump destroyed. A very tough assignment.

  12. Each day I wake up, get my coffee and pastry with my dog in tow, make for my computer to read my emails, The NY Times, The Guardian, Democracy Now and other trusted independent sites and, then, each day say, “What the fuck now???!!! What???!!!”

    Each day I feel we are deeper and deeper in shit. By the time the election rolls around, I won’t know the difference between shit and Shinola. My shoes WILL be shit….

  13. Banana Boy 45:
    Wikipedia reports several interesting facts about our banana which startlingly describe our 45th banana.

    Bananas are noted for having a pseudo stem.
    They are described as insipid and flavorless.
    One variety is known as the false banana.
    Their flesh is said to be soft.

    Bananas when mature are green, yellow, bubblegum pink, red, purple, or brown but never orange, certain indication that our banana is not mature. However, there is one type of banana that is green and white striped with sherbet orange pulp, which is said to taste like strawberries: very rare, indeed.

    Only a few species of bananas are cultivated.
    Bananas originated some 10,000 years ago in swamps.

    China produces a banana whose Chinese name means ‘You can smell it from the next mountain.’

    Bananas in a bunch are refered to as ‘fingers’, and one specie’s fingers are only an inch long.

    More telling: Early companies involved with banana sales, such as Dole, were monopolistic, vertically integrated (meaning they controlled growing, processing, shipping and marketing) and usually used political manipulation to build enclave economies (economies that were internally self-sufficient, virtually tax exempt, and export-oriented that contribute very little to the host economy.

    Banana crops are extremely vulnerable to destruction by tropical storms and disease.

    As certain natural chemicals dissipates in bananas, they acquire a fluorescent complexion.

    The natural ripening (maturing) agent in bananas is ethylene. Now that is promising. Should Trump remain in office, maybe some patriot will step up to the plate and at least inject the man with enough ethylene to turn him into an adult.

  14. Mr. Bray, why all the vulgarities? This is a civil blog.
    I use vulgar term all the time, but not on this blog.

  15. Irvin, sometimes ordinary non-vulgar words are just not enough to convey the depth of feeling.

  16. Banana states sometimes have new constitutions every few months and we haven’t arrived at that point yet, though ignoring the one we have gives us the same uncertain organic law by which other laws are measured. I think we are in a pre-election lull before the storm and that those who would bring us into dictatorship are as fearful as we are, and for good reason.

    They will not succeed with their threats and intimidation, Biden will win handily, Trump will vacate the Oval Office with only minor disturbances here and there and the courts will not disturb a vote of the people. So there! We win! We will have avoided the banana route, at least for the foreseeable future, but the experience will have shown us that we must be eternally vigilant in protecting our democracy from all enemies foreign OR domestic.

  17. The Rudyard Kipling award for the most intellectual comment today goes to???? ?


  18. Yesterday, #BLEXIT showed the left what a peaceful protest looks like. We exposed the flaws in BLM Inc. and the lefts narrative that all minorities think the same.

    Over 2,000 minorities from all across the country came together to take over the streets of DC and show our support for law and order.

    No injuries, no casualties, and not a single building was burned down or destroyed. We still shook the nation.

    The scariest part for BLM and the left is that we are just getting started! #BLEXITBacksTheBlue

    Then this happened:
    Miami PD Estimates More Than 30,000 Cars Participated in Anti-Communist, Latinos For Trump Caravan in South Florida (VIDEO)
    By Cristina Laila
    Published October 10, 2020 at 5:05pm

    So, you should NOT be cautiously optimistic

  19. Irvin: Thanks! I appreciate your comment about the vulgarities which are showing up here with much more frequency. Much more! The Occupant has a lot to do with that, and he is surely no model of virtue, nor is he in command of appropriate language for any blog or Tweet. No need to follow him in his “berry-patch talk.” Let’s save that kind of language for the berry patch.

  20. We voted on the first day it was permissible to do so, here.
    I have trouble citing the steroids for trump’s recent behavior, but see it as the degeneration of the feeble capacity he has always had in relating to the real world. Now, his claims about “Hoax” are empty, and he is staring into the vacuum of his civilian future, his being a one -term* president, a looser, in his world, and simply freaking out. Oh and there is the dreaded SDNY to consider.

  21. Irvin- I thought this was an adult blog, not 2nd Grade PG site. My apologies. Not directed at you personally. Holy Jesus, Mary and Joseph….isn’t there ANYWHERE in this world where one can be OK with how we REALLY feel???? Me thinks I be better off in a strict Catholic (Praise People for instance) web site where men are head of the household and women make babies and have a career too??? (smh) Seriously, we have over 200,000 fellow human beings dead largely because of the most vulgar and incompetent President inn our history and you are calling me out for MY vulgarity??? I think I have about had it with this group who seem to enjoy picking on certain folks (without being called out btw). Good luck finding that site that agrees with ALL of your expectations and standards…..

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